Friday, December 31, 2004

It Took A Tsunami, To Alert A Tsunami Of A Tech

From N.Y. Times Text messaging pushed for use as disaster warning systems.

When the tsunami hit Sri Lanka, Sanjaya Senanayake found he could not make calls on his cellphone or regular land line at first - but he could send and receive text messages from his cellphone.

Experts say that thousands of deaths might have been avoided if warning systems had been in place to alert the people around the rim of the Indian Ocean of the tsunami. No such system exists there now, although the United States has such a system in place for countries of the Pacific basin.

Those who design and use the wireless technology known as Short Message Service, currently used for chatter and advertisements, say it could be used to jumpstart governments' warning networks.

The technology, though used most avidly in the United States by teenagers, is wildly popular worldwide and has accompanied the international boom in cellphone use.

"The cool thing about mobile messaging is you're not tethered in front of your PC, you don't have to be in front of your television,"

The sad thing is where we (U.S.) are still trying to implement SMS, the rest of the world has found a way to use SMS as a way of relief to those affected. Many service providers are donating x amount per SMS sent, as a donation.

Sometimes the rest of the World provides a great way to predict the future.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Samith said countries in the Indian Ocean had to follow suit and set up a network of underwater sea monitors which might cost as little as $20 million to build.

Warnings of imminent inundations would be sent out automatically on television and radio and by text messages to mobile phones.

The system would help woo back tourists scared away by the mass loss of life, Samith said.

"No-one can predict an earthquake, but you can predict a tsunami," he said. "We will build a good system."

"We will help tourists come back to Thailand."